2016-17 Season in Review: 42-40, 7th seed in the Eastern Conference, swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in round one.
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) July 6, 2017
2017-18 Season Outlook: The Paul George era is finally over in Indiana.
The Indiana Pacers traded away their long-time superstar, Paul George, who had led them to two Eastern Conference Finals trips and recovered from a gruesome injury to remain one of the best players in the NBA. In return, they received zero draft picks, a 25-year-old above average shooting guard in Victor Oladipo, and young power forward in Domantas Sabonis.
It’s safe to say Indiana is going to look a lot different in 2017-18 than they have for the first half of the decade. As hesitant as they may be, the Pacers are now rebuilding and they’re going to be dreadful.
However, Indiana also has one thing that sets them apart from other rebuilding teams like the Chicago Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks; a blue chip young player who could eventually turn into a franchise cornerstone – Myles Turner.
It’s unlikely Turner and his supporting cast will be good enough to make any noise this year, even in the weak bottom half of the Eastern Conference.
Nevertheless, Indiana has done well to get themselves a building block and not lock themselves into any long, misguided contracts like the Hawks have with Dennis Schroder and Kent Bazemore. While the Pacers seem hesitant to tank due to the desires of aging owner Herb Simon, the roster will be bad enough to do the losing for them.
Projected Strengths: Veteran leadership, Hustle
Projected Weaknesses: Defense, Consistency
Projected Win Total: 27